Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell has tragically passed away at the age of 52. The Seattle born singer was found dead on Wednesday evening (May 17) after performing with Soundgarden in Detroit.
Chris Cornell was born in Seattle, Washington in 1964. The son of a pharmacist and accountant, Cornell adopted a passion for music at an early age after finding a large collection of Beatles records in a neighbours basement.
Cornell formed his first band Soundgarden in 1984, and released his debut album ‘Ultramega OK’ in 1988. The band became well known as pioneers of the grunge scene in the early 1990s, and gained a huge fan base largely due to Cornell’s fantastic vocal ability. Soundgarden released their most commercially successful album ‘Superunknown’ in 1994. The record peaked at number one in both the US and Australia, and was supported by the hit singles ‘Spoonman’, ‘Black Hole Sun’, and ‘Fell On Black Days’.
After Soundgarden split in 1997, Cornell began to work on solo material, and released his first solo album ‘Euphoria Morning’ in 1999. In 2001 he formed a new rock supergroup with former members of Rage Against the Machine, named Audioslave.
Audioslave helped fire Cornell back into the public consciousness, and achieved both commercial and critical acclaim with their three studio albums ‘Audioslave’ (2001), ‘Out Of Exile’ (2005), and ‘Revelations’ (2006). After the group split in 2007, Cornell continued to focus on his solo career, scoring a huge hit in the UK with his James Bond theme ‘You Know My Name’, which was featured in ‘Casino Royale’. At the time, Cornell was the first American male singer to write and record a Bond theme.
Soundgarden reformed in 2010, and were recently reported to be working on a follow up to their 2012 record ‘King Animal’.
So far there has been no official cause of death; however, due to the singers good health, there are claims that Cornell may have committed suicide.
A number of high profile musicians have posted tributes to the singer of the last couple of days.
Jimmy Page tweeted: “RIP Chris Cornell. Incredibly talented, incredibly young, incredibly missed.”
and Sir Elton John posted: “Shocked and saddened by the sudden death of @chriscornell. A great singer, songwriter and the loveliest man.”
RMW are deeply saddened to hear about the death of what we consider to be one of the greatest frontmen of his generation. RIP Chris. You will be missed.